Mathews Bridge closure creates traffic nightmare

By Tim Pulliam, General assignment reporter, tpulliam@wjxt.com
Published On: Sep 26 2013 11:34:58 PM EDT
Updated On: Sep 26 2013 11:37:55 PM EDT

A significant hit - both sides of the Mathews Bridge - still shut down - after it was struck by the USNS Harry L. Martin.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

The Mathews Bridge will be closed indefinitely until the Florida Department of Transportation can fix the damage the ship caused Thursday. Drivers will have to use the Hart bridge as an option to get around it.

Drivers who live in the area are used to the Mathews Bridge being closed at night because of ongoing repairs, but with the bridge now closed indefinitely, commuters are worried about what will happen to traffic patterns come Friday morning.

"It's a mess," said Sherri Potter. "It took us a while to get around once we found out. We had to detour from the Mathews Bridge to the Hart Bridge. We had a dinner meeting downtown, so now we are on our way home but we are not in a big hurry."

"It is atrocious," said Janet Roy. "It is backed up all the way from here to Atlantic Boulevard."

Many drivers told Channel 4 that they are planning to leave home earlier on Friday morning, to get where they need to be one time.

RELATED: JTA issues traffic advisory

"It has messed my whole life up even more," said Adam Patterson.

Atlantic Boulevard traffic Patterson told Channel 4 he leaves home at 6:30 every morning. He said he will now have to leave 15 minutes early to make it to work on time.

Because of the bridge closure, there are detours in place and signs directing traffic across town.

Drivers who are headed west on Arlington Expressway towards downtown will now have to turn left onto Cesery Road and follow it to University Boulevard to Atlantic Boulevard. Channel 4 took the detour Thursday night and found that it took the Channel 4 crew about 9 minutes to take the detour in night-time traffic.

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